KALAHEO — “We’re late this year,” Juan Lorenzo said as he stepped out of his car.
Lorenzo had just returned with some sand to create “Hawaiian style snow.” He is the owner of one of about a half a dozen homes on Onohi Lane in Kalaheo whose owners like to deck out their houses and yards in lights for Christmas.
Across the way, Gwen and Larry Carveiro were making final adjustments in their testing, as they prepared to welcome Santa for his annual visit to the Kalaheo residence.
“Some of the people that come to visit used to come when they were children,” Gwen Carveiro said. “Now, they bring their own children.
“That’s how long we’ve been doing this,” she noted as she helped stabilize an inflatable Santa.
Her husband Larry Carveiro was busy making final adjustments on the lighting display strung up on the rock wall surrounding his Kalaheo home.
Gwen Carveiro noted that he had to drill special holes to anchor the rods and PVC pipe footings that form the base for his holiday lights.
Unsure as to how many lights go into their annual display, the Carveiros said it all started with a couple of strings and, each year, they’ve added a few more things.
For this year, Gwen Carveiro pointed out that their keikiland features a couple of palms, a snow globe (in the front yard), and three Santas coming out of a box. Gwen Carveiro said they got the Santas in one of the after- Christmas sales for $2 each.
“Before Christmas, they were selling for $39.95 each,” she boasted of her bargains.
Gwen Carveiro also pointed out a special container Larry Carveiro had built for one of their inflatables. She said that, without the container, you could only see half a snowman.
Larry Carveiro set out to build a container that doubles as the storage space for the snowman, and when it is on display, the container becomes a pedestal that allows viewers a full-figure view of the illuminated figure.
Joining the Carveiros and Lorenzos, Gwen Carveiro said that some of the other neighbors, Rose Fune, Tommy Rita, and Larry Freitas, decorate their places, too.
As with every major production, there is time set aside for rehearsing and testing systems.
That time came earlier this week at both the Carveiro and Lorenzo homes.
Meanwhile, someone came out and whispered in Gwen Carveiro’s ear a fact she announced to her husband. “She was just using the hair dryer and something went off’.”
As Gwen Carveiro retreated into the home to reset the circuit breaker, Larry Carveiro explained that the test run is to see which circuit breakers trip, and which circuits need to be plugged into which plugs.
“No more hair dryer. No more television,” he said.
As Gwen Carveiro re-emerged from her home, she commented, “I haven’t even started baking yet. My grand-daughter comes home from Oregon on Sunday, so maybe then. But, at least I made my sweet bread.”
When Santa starts making his regular calls to Onohi Lane, the Carveiros are usually seated in their garage to enjoy the stream of people who stroll along the short Kalaheo lane, stopping to admire, chat, and enjoy the feeling of neighborhood.
“We gotta do the other house on Wednesday,” Lorenzo said. “And, by this weekend, it should be all ready.”
No sooner had he spoken, than the lights on the Rita home flickered on in the twilight. Down the lane, the Fune home had magically lit up, and those at the Freitas home were still awaiting the fall of dusk to light up.
As Larry Carveiro scrambled up on the housetop to adjust an unlit portion of the Santa and reindeer display that can be seen from the top of Opu Road that leads to Onohi Lane, Gwen Carveiro showed off Santa’s schedule.
“He’ll be here every night between (Friday) December 16th through December 24th, between 7 and 9 p.m. Don’t forget to bring your family,” she said.
- Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@kauaipubco